Tuesday 26 March 2024

The Botanist by M W Craven

The Botanist (Washington Poe, #5)The Botanist by M.W. Craven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 448

Publisher - Constable

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

'I swear I'm one bad mood away from calling it black magic and going home . . .'

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe can count on one hand the number of friends he has. And he'd still have his thumb left. There's the insanely brilliant, guilelessly innocent civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw of course. He's known his beleaguered boss, Detective Inspector Stephanie Flynn for years as he has his nearest neighbour, full-time shepherd/part-time dog sitter, Victoria.

And then there's Estelle Doyle. It's true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street but this time has she gone too far? Shot twice in the head, her father's murder appears to be an open and shut case. Estelle has firearms discharge residue on her hands, and, in a house surrounded by fresh snow, hers are the only footprints going in. Since her arrest she's only said three words: 'Tell Washington Poe.'

Meanwhile, a poisoner the press have dubbed the Botanist is sending high profile celebrities poems and pressed flowers. The killer seems to be able to walk through walls and, despite the advance notice he gives his victims, and regardless of the security measures the police take, he seems to be able to kill with impunity.

For a man who hates locked room mysteries, this is going to be the longest week of Washington Poe's life . . .

My Review

Hello Tilly and Poe, if you haven't read the previous four books, go do it, seriously they are fab and you need the backstory so you love/appreciate the dynamic duo. Someone is murdering people, poisoning them and doing it with "flare" and the whole world watching. Their targets are high profile/celebrity style individuals who are bad/horrible people, so bad that normal folk would be rooting for the bad guy and Tilly and Poe have to help try and crack the case. Where do you even start when you have no idea how they are doing it or who will be next unless the baddy tells you?

As in true Craven fashion we don't just get one thread to follow/focus on, this time we have another case, the quirky/unique pathologist, Estelle, friend of Poe, is accused of murder. Not only accused but the case is looking pretty water tight. Poe is up to his eyes with this high profile poisoner but no way is he going to leave a friend going down. Regardless of how much evidence or how strong the case may be, nor his commitments, Poe isn't going to leave his friend hanging.

Engaging, grabs you pretty much from the opening - the Tilly and Poe books are a big fave in here. We have shady bad guys and I am not talking about the killer, like the folk chosen to die/be targeted are some of society's absolute horror bags. Racism, sexist, folk who think they are above the law, people who say just about anything, the more offensive and sick (for them) the better because it gives them more attention/profile/views. Ugh I got really annoyed at some of them & the flower/poems sent one might say poetic justice? Ooft. I can normally read these books in one sitting/day, I just took a bit of time with stuff going on. Tilly remains Tilly, socially awkward at times, no filter but with a heart of gold and Poe, Poe gets under many folks skin and sometimes treads the line of the law but always from a good place and he is a good/loyal guy. Banter, funnies, shocking, murder, vile people, good people, a whole mixed bag and as per, a page turner, very much looking forward to the next installment, 4/5.

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